Global Toy Industry – 2015 Highlights And Outlook For 2016…

Global Toy Industry – 2015 Highlights And Outlook For 2016…

As the new year begins, and toy company people roll back into the office saturated with turkey and good cheer (!), we can look back on a 2015 that overall was a very successful year for the toy business, and look forward to a successful 2016 for the global toy business.

 

THOUGHTS ON 2016

It’s time to get the crystal ball out! Here are some thoughts/predictions for 2016:

  1. Accelerated growth of manufacturing outside China – the following article we wrote for the leading UK toy trade magazine – Toy News – looks at the trend/necessity to be considering toy manufacturing outside of China. http://www.toynews-online.biz/opinion/read/manufacturing-movements/045473  In particular, we expect significant growth in India, where we’re seeing strong toy suppliers emerge. We’ve recently visited factories there offering cutting edge engineering and potential cost savings due to lower labor costs, and as India is the only Asian country with a similar sized population to China, with a significant manufacturing capability in other sectors, we expect to see India come more and more to the fore from 2016 onwards.
  2. Mattel Bounces Back – it’s been a rough ride for Mattel in recent times. The major issue was the impact of Frozen toy/doll sales on their own Barbie brand and the loss of Disney Princess fashion dolls to Hasbro. There was too little time to do anything significant for 2015, but for 2016 we’re expecting to see a powerfully ramped up product line at toy fair!
  3. Movies, movies, movies – again we’re set for a strong movie slate in 2016. In particular we’re intrigued to see how Batman versus Superman goes, but also there are new instalments for Captain America, X-Men, TMNT, The BFG, Finding Dory (the sequel to Finding Nemo which grossed nearly $1billion at the global box office originally) plus a Star Wars spin off movie.
  4. Star Wars drives strong Q1 2016 for Global toy industry – on the subject of Star Wars, December movie releases are usually unpopular with toy companies, as the 4-6 week toys on shelf date pre-release does not allow for sufficient time to maximise toy sell through…furthermore a December movie release most likely means a late Q1/early Q2 DVD release versus having both a movie in the summer with a boost via DVD release in Q4. HOWEVER…if there was one franchise with the potential to rewrite the rules, it’s Star Wars, and what you do get with a December release on a huge smash hit kid/family friendly blockbuster is a comparatively huge Q1 as the hype continues into what is usually a proportionally dead time for retail sell through.
  5. The Year Of Acquisitions – the toy industry is dominated by family run/family founded businesses, and sometimes for whatever reason the family decides to sell up and move on. If you look at the growth curves of both Hasbro & Mattel, they have been significantly influenced by acquisitions of brands/companies, but there are also other growth hungry companies with fairly large cheque books out there, we’re expecting to see several fairly large company sales as negotiations instigated around toy fair season grind through to completion in the summer.

Here’s a selection of popular articles from 2015 to reflect on:

The Top 10 Most Read Articles on Spielwarenmesse for 2015 (5 of which were written by Steve Reece our CEO): http://www.spielwarenmesse.de/magazine/article-detail/das-sind-die-top-10-artikel-im-spielwarenmagazin-2015/?L=1&cHash=9f16315323c52a6171aa94c71f3d860b

Global Toy Market Enjoys ‘Healthy’ Growth in 2015:

http://www.toyindustryjournal.com/?p=188

 

The European Toy Market, Large But Fragmented:

http://www.toyindustryjournal.com/?paged=4 

 

Where All The Profit’s At In The Toy Business:

Where All The Profit’s At In The Toy Industry

Finally, the following article was published in 2015, but may be useful for Toy Fair 2016 (although it’s a bit late now!)

5 Tips For Successful Toy Fair Events Management

 

Regardless of whether we call it right, we wish you a very successful 2016…

…and if you need some support/help, please consider our Consultancy business: Kids Brand Insight offers the following services:

  • Toy Business Consultancy
  • Consumer Insight/Playtesting
  • Toy Reviews & Awards (via www.TheToyVerdict.com)
  • Export Sales Consultancy
  • Factory Finding (in China, India and beyond)
  • Events Management

For more information, please visit: www.KidsBrandInsight.com